Jasmine Henderson, USA joins the Equal Playing Field squad

Jasmine joins us from Los Angeles, California, where she most recently played for current National Champions, Santa Clara Blue Heat, and previously in Brazil. She tells us here what role soccer has played in her life and what she wants for her four-year-old son Paul. If you’d like to sponsor Jasmine and help her break a world record, please visit https://www.climbingmountpossible.com/

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and can still remember the look on my parents’ faces when, at 5 years old, I told them I wanted to play soccer, just like my older brother. I was deep into Barbies, the color pink and my mother’s make-up at the time.

I always enjoyed playing with the boys. But even though as I was as good as them, it was never okay in the yard to get beat by me. Many years later my second ACL injury happened at a co-ed tournament when a man wanted pay-back for when I’d beasted him off the ball. He fouled me hard. I cried. But not because of the pain. I cried that because of his hurt ego, I would be out of the game for 6-9 months with another road to recovery ahead. I was 22.

On the field, I get a window into who I truly am and can take that into any area of my life.

I’ve had many setbacks and my dreams have often cracked. It took me a while to remember the power I have within. I just needed to remember to believe.

Soccer absolutely changed my life. With soccer, I got to really see who I am and chisel away at myself to reveal what else is available. It has taught me so many life lessons. On the field, I get a window into who I truly am and can take that into any area of my life.

My family is amazing. They are and have always been so supportive. On the other hand, guys I have dated haven’t supported me when I’ve gone through selection processes or tried to pursue my career, ending things when I said that I wanted to play professionally or take it to the next level.

I have experienced adversity in sport, but even more so in becoming a single mother. I have experienced and witnessed the immense responsibility that is placed on a woman simply because she is the vessel carrying the child. My four-year-old son, Paul changed my life for the better in every way. Yet there were things that I had to go through and that many women go through that can cause us to question our worth or value.

I want my son Paul, who has autism, to live a life where he sees that ANYTHING is possible, no matter who you are, where you came from or what your current situation is. Anything is possible at any moment. I would love to pass on that my label as a “single mom,” as a “woman,” as an “American,” as a “mixed-raced” person or as a “soccer player” doesn’t define me. I am limitless, and so is he.

Climbing up this mountain and breaking this world record might be the inspiration that someone, male or female, boy or girl, is seeking so that they can climb their own mountain in life and do things they thought, or were told were impossible. It also shows what is possible when we are united – united as women and united as a people.

Want to sponsor Jasmine and help her break a world record? Sponsor her here: https://www.climbingmountpossible.com/